Although I'm hanging on with desktop at the moment I know at some point I'm going to have to give it up so I've been testing out .net for processing orders the past couple of days.
I have to say that I really don't think it's ready for daily use in our business yet.
There are small but important things that would be so easy to fix and from a UI stand point are just plain bad.
For example when processing order.
You click scan items and start working through scanning all the products in
Now in desktop , if you scanned the wrong item in you would get an alert to say it wasn't part of the order.
Nothing in .net - yes you get a little tick next to the item but if you have 50 items to scan in you aren't going to start scrolling up and down just to make sure the item had a tick.
Why not add an alert box just like you used to get in desktop????
We still use desktop in our warehouse but like the previous contributors I am filled with trepidation of the day we are forced to use it. I think the issue is the frontend has been written from a developers perspective not a warehouse operatives.
We (dev) keep looking at running training sessions for our staff so we have a quick go only to find we get lost in the operation. I guess some of this is knowing the Desktop really well. We ship 000's of parcels a week and we cannot afford downtime every time someone gets stuck in packing.
It would be great to hear someone's experience of using .net for order processing and how they went about introducing it.
I firmly believe also that Linnworks do not create their software from a warehouse perspective. I also send 1000s items a week. The staff I have initially used desktop, mainly because the screen has all the information required which .net lacks, here are the main advantages I find of using desktop over .net
Composite items - These are fully displayed and clearly shows what items need to be included with the order. If you have an item that is a pack of 2, it will show qty 2 in the composite when you are in desktop. In .net the packer will only know this if they click the + icon (which doesn't always work) or if you make it clear (with CAPITALS) in the item title that there is meant to be 2.
Quantity > 2 - In desktop this is highlighted, in .net it isn't and has caused endless amounts of orders being sent with wrong quantities.
Shipping method - If you had a shipping method of 'Royal Mail Large Letter 48' Forget even being able to read that in .net, you will only be able to view the first 13 or so characters. How are the packers meant to know which sack it's suppose to go unless they actually look at the printed shipping label, which is not always clear by looking at most shipping labels. I have had to abbreviate all my shipping methods.
The only reason I use .net desktop is because I can print picklists via the different views, ie Royal Mail single item orders, and when a packer scans that item using dispatch console in the single item view setting, it will only process the orders that were included on that picklist. You have to set filters etc to get it to work, but that has saved me a lot of time and hassle. If you use dispatch console in desktop, no matter if you have picked the item or not, you will find that it will go ahead and process all the orders for that item, which inevitably leads the packer trying to find where that item was picked from.
There is an endless list of things Linnworks could easily do to make life easier for picking and packing, but I've come to the conclusion that they have no idea what is involved in operating a warehouse and seem to spend more time on making the system worst. Hence the last update they did to .net which makes it even more difficult to find the options you need and the open tabs are difficult to tell which one you are actually in.
Anyway that's my rant over, but it really does sound like you would be better off learning .net if you have 2 or more people doing the packing as it does make life easier by using the picking filters, and processing filters in open orders
wow - that was extensive but all identical to our experiences.
The picking within Desktop works well for us but I admit it could be better and agree the .net version presents improved options. We are looking at using Piickwaves but as I previously mention the lack of time curtails the testing and introduction of the procedure. We scan everything twice, once on picking and again on packing. The highlighting on a multi line order is a so important at the final scan, packers need a visual prompt to show everything is there. If something is missing they need to see quickly what it is so the order can be completed or abandon.
As you say the last update on .net was yet another step backwards, especially the tabs on the top - they are almost invisible, what is wrong with some colour to highlight the open tab?
I know we have to make the switch otherwise it will be forces on us when we least want it. I just need to be confident that it will work as efficiently as desktop.
Agreed, also sending 000's a week. We pick and pack a little differently, using a different folder for each pick, but i've looked at doing this in .net and it was hell. Having the neat tick boxes on the left hand side and the ability to right mouse click tick for negative options at an instant is a must. All the filtering flaff in .net may be a developers dream, but it doesn't work in practical terms and is not easy on the eye or brain! Desktop is perfect for the order screen, I know they revamped the .net one to try and match it at a lot of effort, but it will never be the same without the left tick boxes, and the layout, not our cup of tea.
Our method for developers or anyone interested!
Just for fun we make our own folders according to season, e.g. at xmas we would name them Santa, Turkey, Donkey folder etc. and a folder for express mail, using folder manager, we tend to use about 12 folders.
First filter is 'Can be done', basically if it's in stock! You can't pick what isn't there! This is done by a permanent setting under 'group selection' box.
We select 30-50 orders from the order screen appropriate to oldest date, country, certain item or category, it varies but date is most important.
We add the orders to say Donkey folder, select all, print pick list. Picker picks into one box, anything not found by the picker removed from the folder.
After picking anything not found by the picker removed from the folder. They then move to print the folder. Before printing the shipping method is looked at, dragging the shipping method to the top bar highlights what service for each order and this will often need changing to another service and can be done at this point. The order of how you print the invoices and labels is important, as labels and invoices have to be in the same order for the packer. However for some reason if you select all and print they can be out of order, usually it's Germany that makes the order jump around, sometimes others, so we print by country. This is easy in Desktop as you can drag the country column to the top bar in an instant and leave it there and all orders will still be on the screen but be sorted into country batches, in .net this a different kettle of fish and cannot be done. (Same for any column dragging, I like to quickly sort to see sub sources or shipping methods to check on stuff, again, can't be done in .net). The invoices and labels go in the box with the items and the pick list. Also CN22/CN23's are needed for all international orders, again, by having the country column active at this point saves unnesesary printing. (You may ask why not just pick folders by country - well first come first served means date order is usually more important - and that takes precedent).
Packer then is presented with all the invoices and labels for the items in the box, any errors by the picker (such as colour/size/wrong item/quantiy) usually come to light whilst packing (we don't have scanning equipment for everybody, it's a manual process), the pick list shows which orders contain which items, the invoice shows the packer what to pack (I know it is common these days not to include the invoice in the parcel, but it does help to see what goes in the packet!).
Any anomalies can be sorted by the packer before processing the folder.
Once packed, quick click of tick box for the Donkey folder, select all button, batch process. Untick box...next folder Santa....
This works as we may have several picks lined up, using the folders is a quick way to jump from one pick to another. We don't use dispatch manager as we don't have equipment for everybody, we tried it, didn't like it, no room on packers desk for equipment and slows the process. Picker uses paper pick list, good old fashion pen and paper - it works! Would like the option to remove the dispatch console button from the open orders screen as it's unessesary!
Screenshot shows an example, those quick buttons at the top are essential, and the left hand filtering so much easier with tick boxes...
Interesting, I like how you have all the different tabs in the open orders screen, might have to look into doing that and seeing if there is a way I can do what I do on .net onto desktop. Anything to get off .net would be amazing ! My main thing is, I do use dispatch console, so when a user scans it would need to only process the orders that are in those different folders, and not just come up with orders that are in different folders, which I find Linnworks desktop always does when using dispatch manager. So for instance with your donkey folder, if you created a picklist for them, all these items will be on the picking trolley, and then when they get scanned in on dispatch console, it is just those items that will be processed by the user. I haven't found a way how to do this on desktop, only on .net. I have so many different products, I find it much easier if the user just scans the item
In desktop we use folders - An operator creates a folder and then a picklist is generated for only those items. After picking all those on screen (in the folder) is everything picked (hopefully!)